…. at least as far as the County Commissioners are concerned.
I have provided public comment at dozens and dozens and dozens of public meetings. School Board Meetings. Town Council Meetings. City Meetings. County Meetings. State Board Meetings.
Every single public meeting allowed Public Comment on anything not on the agenda to come first.
As in before any agenda item.
And Before anything else.
This shows the public that the governing board wants to hear from the citizens and the citizens come first.
It allows the single mom to schedule a babysitter and know she will be back home soon.
It allows the working person to schedule coming in exactly two hours late for work.
It allows the octogenarian to arrange a ride and know they will only be sitting for a few minutes
It allows the public the peace of mind to know it will only a few short minutes before their particular issue will be heard by alert and attentive public servants.
Public Servants, elected or appointed, serve at the pleasure of the citizens.
Public Servants whose job it is to listen to and act in the best interests of those whom they serve.
In some of those meetings, people were limited to three or even two minutes. In some of those meetings the number of speakers was limited to five or even three to keep the meeting on schedule.
At all of those meetings, the public came first. Every. One.
Sadly, in Storey County, the public comes last.
I am told this practice was instituted some years back when the county was under the rule of Commissioners who felt the public appeared at the meetings at their pleasure. If a member of the public offended them, the offender was summarily removed from the meeting. And this happened often. Quite. Often.
I got the last word at yesterday’s Commissioners meeting. By the time I took the podium, four long hours had transpired since the opening pledge of allegiance. My fanny was hard and completely flattened thanks to the spartan accommodations of the courthouse. Everyone’s blood sugar had tanked. Folks were tired; the room couldn’t wait to empty.
But before the exodus could take place, the 6 people remaining in the audience had to wait for me.
It was the second meeting in a row I waited (for like forever) to get the last word.
Not because I was riveted by the engaging (or tranquilizing) quality of the meeting, but because if I wanted to say something, I had to wait to be last.
It’s time to put the interests of the people of Storey County first.
If you think our Public Servants should serve at the pleasure of you, let them know.
They should be pleased you contacted them; they serve at your pleasure. Remind them of that.
Contact them below. And tell them The Storey Teller sent you.
Pat Whitten – County Manager
Austin Osborne – Assistant County Manager, Human Resources Manager, Planning Director and whatever else Pat has him doing. Austin is perhaps the hardest working person in Storey County.
Marshall McBride – County Commission Chairman
Lance Gilman – Brothel Owner, TRIC executive and County Commissioner